Dieter DC’s review published on Letterboxd:
Inspired by Dirk Hasselman and Steve Grzesiak to watch some of the late Sidney Lumet's work, I started with 'Before the Devil Knows You're Dead'.
The only Lumet movie I saw before this one was '12 Angry Men'.
In my eyes a masterpiece of a movie, setting the proverbial bar, expectation wise, very high.
So, let's start with the 'bad news':
Was I equally overwhelmed by 'Before the Devil Knows you're Dead' when the end credits rolled over the screen? Not quite.
But this doesn't change the fact that this is a very good movie.
Without going to spoilers, I would like to point out some of the strong points:
- The (mostly troubled) relationships between for example: Andy (Hoffman) - Hank (Hawk) - Charles (Albert Finney as their dad) // Andy - Hank - Gina (Marisa Tomei as Andy's wife)
// Hank - his daughter - Martha (Hank's ex-wife) and the evolution of these relationships throughout the movie, put quite a heavy emotional burden on the movie.
Fortunately, this is a major asset , even one of the strongest points, and doesn't turn the movie into a depressive emo pic.
- As far as the storytelling goes: Kudos to Lumet for succeeding into putting the different POV's together without turning it into a complete mess.
At first I didn't really know what to think about the ruptures (I really thought there was something wrong with my copy the first time he switched characters), but the more it happend, the more I liked it.
It's sudden, abrupt and brusque, but then again so is the movie.
- And then you have Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawk portraying the siblings Andy and Hank Hanson...
Spot on. No more, no less.
Sorry, but I really have nothing more to say about it...
Befor the Devil Knows you're Dead:
Must see movie? Most definitely.
2/2 for Lumet so far! 'The Offence', here I come!